I did a solar and battery back up total grid shut down test yesterday. Passed with flying colors. The panels generated all of our power all day. The batteries switched over to the critical loads at night. It powered the well pump, furnace, 3 freezers, refrigerator, a sleep machine, Internet and about 800 watts of lights. They hit 50% of capacity draw down around 5:15 this morning before the controllers shut them down (this is a pretty size-able load). By 11:00 am this morning the panels already had them recharged to 95 %. I’ll take it.
As the biggest power draw was the blower on the furnace, that can be alleviated and allow for more power usage from the battery bank. Potential improvements: Install either a wood burning stove or cook stove in the basement or a pellet stove. This would keep the batteries from having to power the furnace. That, coupled with a solar hot water heater would make us almost completely energy self-sufficient……. sort of. It would certainly trim back the load on the batteries in power down situations.